Kelly vs Goodyear Tires
Pretty much everyone is aware by now that premium tires are better than budget tires. However, sometimes it does not make sense to go for premium tires for a variety of reasons. First of all, they are much more expensive to buy and install, and we sometimes aren’t even able to use them to their fullest potential.
Whether it be due to the fact we use older cars or we simply have multiple cars and we can’t utilize them for everything. This subject is floating in many people’s minds as we can sometimes satisfy all of our needs with a budget tire brand. So, in this article, we are going to compare Kelly vs Goodyear tires and tell you what you get for that extra dollar.
Kelly Tires History
The Kelly Springfield Tire Company traces its roots back to the late 1800s when Edwin Kelly and Arthur Grant started making tires in Springfield Ohio. The company was first registered under the name “The Rubber Tire Wheel Company” as it was primarily focused on making rubber carriage wheels. Be that as it may, the 1900s saw huge interest in making automobile tires and Arthur Grant was soon to follow with its first iteration of a car tire.
Not many things changed until Goodyear became the parent company in 1935. Goodyear saw the potential as Kelly was the first company to ever develop and manufacture the very first solid rubber tire for carriages and early automobiles. With such a rich history, the Kelly Springfield Tire Company is one of the oldest tire companies in the US.
Nowadays, Kelly Springfield Tire company manufactures tires for more than 50 brands and is the largest manufacturer of custom brand tires in the US, and also the world’s largest manufacturer of farm tires. The Kelly Springfield company is now more than 110 years old and is a household name when it comes to tire manufacturing.
The company knows that most customers want a great deal on a great tire, one backed by extensive warranty coverages. It is also one of, if not the largest brand operating under the Goodyear umbrella, and the only one capable of withstanding takeover bids from foreign companies.
Kelly Tire Family
Now we are going to list a few tire families made by Kelly and tell you why you should or shouldn’t consider them. Kelly does not offer a huge variety of tires as they are more focused on encompassing the wider market of consumer tires with singular options. As such, we are going to list four Kelly tire families, the Edge family, the Safari Family, the Explorer family, and the Winter Access family.
The Kelly Edge family comes with five different subvariants, all of which are designed to satisfy a large market segment. The Kelly Edge A/S is designed as an economy all-season touring tire that can fit most passenger cars but isn’t available for cars with higher ground clearance. This is where Kelly Edge HT tires come in as these are designed for light trucks and SUVs.
This family also consists of Kelly Edge HP tires designed for performance, Kelly Edge AT tires designed for all-terrain vehicles, and the Kelly Edge MT tires designed for serious off-roading. All of these come in many sizes which means that they are going to fit pretty much everything.
The Kelly Safari family is designed for off-road vehicles, SUVs, and light trucks. You can choose between a few subvariants such as the Safari Signature, a highway touring tire with great year-long traction, or the Safari ATR which is designed to combine both off-roading and highway driving at a reasonable price.
You can also buy the Safari TSR, an extreme off-roading tire designed to cope with virtually every aspect of off-roading, but is a bit too agricultural to use on the road.
If you want a dependable all-season tire that offers decent traction yearlong but is also relatively refined and docile, the Explorer family is the one to get. The Explorer family is sized for coupes, minivans, small SUVs, and sedans that spend the majority of their time on the highway. The Kelly Explorer Plus is the most popular tire from this family as it strikes the best balance between utility, longevity, price, and refinement.
Kelly Winter Access
The Kelly Winter Access family represents what Kelly believes is the best budget winter tire series. The Winter Access family is manufactured for both passenger cars and SUVs which means that Kelly tries to satisfy all winter tire needs with a single tire series. In this tire series, you can find ice tires, snow tires, winter touring tires, and even models pinned for optional ice studs.
The Goodyear tire company was conceived at the beginning of the 20th century by Frank Seiberling. The name Goodyear served as a tribute to a man called Charles Goodyear who was the first person to successfully vulcanize rubber. Before WW1, the company was all out on car tires which lead to them inventing the first tubeless tire.
Goodyear was also the company that made the very first airplane tire. When the famed Ford Model T came out, it was seen sporting Goodyear tires. All of this pushed the company to further improve in various aspects of tire making which enabled them to become the largest tire company in the world before the 1930s.
The 1930s were troubled times for many tire companies as the recession was in full swing. However, Goodyear managed to survive it and they also invented the very first nylon tire back in 1947. The 1960s saw Goodyear making their one billionth tire which was incredible by 1960s standards. The 1960s were also the golden age of motorsports, and many race cars wore Goodyear tires exclusively.
In today’s day and age, Goodyear is here to stay as they have become a synonym for tires in many different industries, not just cars. They are not the largest tire company in the world anymore, but they are in the top four which is still an incredible feat.
Goodyear Tire Family
Goodyear offers tires for pretty much anything that needs them. This means that you can buy Goodyear tires for cars, SUVs, light trucks, minivans, commercial vehicles, heavy machinery, airplanes, vans, commercial trucks, RVs, motorcycles, and bicycles. However, we are only going to focus on Goodyear car tires as these are by far the most popular.
To kick off this list, we are going to mention Goodyear’s performance tire lineup called “Goodyear Eagle”. These purpose-made tires have only one goal in mind, and that is to go fast without losing traction or compromising safety. The Goodyear Eagle series of tires represents one of the world’s most decorated lines of performance tires that can often be seen on many sports cars from the factory.
The Eagle tire family consists of the Eagle F1, the Eagle LS-2, the Eagle Exhilarate, Eagle Sport, Eagle NCT, Eagle GR, Eagle RS, and a few lesser-known models. Some of these models try to combine various driving qualities which means that they aren’t as uncomfortable as most performance tires tend to be.
The Goodyear Assurance line represents some of the best touring tires on the market. These tires are likely the ones most people are interested in buying because they are refined, they offer decent traction, they are responsive, refined, and come with long warranty coverages. Here you can find some of the most advanced tires in the world.
The Assurance lineup consists of the Assurance Fuel Max, and the Assurance MaxLife, a tire backed by an industry-leading 85k mile warranty. Other models from this list include the Assurance Finesse, Assurance WeatherReady, and Assurance Comfort Drive. There is no shortage of available sizes and shapes which means that these can fit virtually anything.
Goodyear Ultra Grip
The Goodyear Ultra Grip family of tires is focused on winter driving which means that these tires are designed to manage ice, slush, water, snow, and freezing temperatures without stiffening up. They also come in all shapes and sizes which means that they fit passenger cars, SUVs, CUVs, coupes, minivans, and trucks. The most popular Goodyear Ultra Grip tires are the Ultra Grip GW2/3, Ultra Grip Ice, and Ultra Grip WRT tires.
Goodyear Winter Command
The Goodyear Winter Command family of tires is also a dedicated winter tire family, but it differs from the Ultra Grip family because it offers studdable tires. This means that these are designed for arctic environments where ice covers the ground yearlong. They are very limited in size and are only available for certain types of cars.
The Goodyear Wrangler family of tires is often referred to as the “mac” daddy of off-roading tires on many off-road courses around the US. The reason why the Wrangler family is so successful is that they come in endless sizes and can fit on anything with higher ground clearance. With over 20 different subvariants, it’s really difficult not to find the perfect off-roading tire.
Goodyear Efficient Grip & Excellence
Both the Goodyear Efficient Grip and the Goodyear Excellence series of tires are designed for touring purposes with a slight emphasis on performance. The Goodyear Efficient Grip lineup consists of a very limited number of models and is close to the Eagle family while the Goodyear Excellence series is more refined and comes in more sizes in general.
Goodyear Fierce & Frontera
The Goodyear Fierce family of tires aims to combine everything you need in a true SUV tire. This means that these tires are capable of traversing challenging terrain on a daily basis, but are also comfortable enough to be daily commuters. These are only available for SUVs and light trucks.
The Goodyear Frontera family is also only available for SUVs and trucks, but the Frontera does not care about off-roading at all. These are designed for modern-day SUVs and trucks that never venture off the pavement.
Differences Between Kelly and Goodyear Tires
Dry traction is where Kelly is more than enough for 99% of occasions, but if you own a performance car, you must go with Goodyear’s Eagle series of tires as these will enable you to push your car to its absolute limit. Wet traction is also on Goodyear’s side by quite a margin as most budget tires tend to shatter when they encounter heavy rain.
Probably the biggest difference is in the touring segment where Kelly offers relatively decent models while Goodyear offers industry-leading luxury touring tires. Off-roading is similar because Kelly offers amazing off-road tires, but Goodyear still manages to beat Kelly thanks to a wider array of choices.
Winter tires are completely in Goodyear’s corner as Kelly Winter Access tires aren’t the most bragged about tires in the budget segment, let alone the premium segment. It is very much the same story with snow and ice tires where Goodyear wipes the floor with Kelly.
Availability of Options
Goodyear is a premium tire brand which means that they tend to invest huge sums of money in developing new models all the time. The Wrangler series alone has more than 20 different subvariants which is more than all the current models Kelly offers in their entire catalog.
Price & Warranty
A budget tire brand like Kelly is naturally going to be more affordable than a premium brand like Goodyear, so there is no contest there. Value-wise, you can get more for your money from Kelly, but Goodyear is simply better in everything else. When it comes to warranty, Kelly warranty coverage range between 0 and 55k miles while Goodyear warranty coverages range between 20k and 85k miles.
Advantages Of Kelly Tires
- Better value in the off-road segment
- Good warranty coverage for certain models
Advantages Of Goodyear Tires
- Better performance tires
- Better touring tires
- Better winter tires
- More choice
- More innovation
Chart Comparison Kelly VS Goodyear Tires
|Variety||Okay at best||Top-level|
|Warranty||0-55k miles||20K-85k miles|
|Innovation||Okay at best||Industry-leading|
Which Brand To Choose?
At the end of our “Kelly vs Goodyear Tires” article, it is pretty obvious that Goodyear is the better brand overall. However, there are instances in which it does make sense to go for Kelly tires, but Kelly tires can’t compete with Goodyear tires anywhere.
It all boils down to your budget and if you are willing to sacrifice substance and quality for price and flexibility.
I just bought Kelly tires because I couldn’t get Michelin tires locally. So far they perform better for me than Goodyear has. But that’s just my experience using Goodyear on a 2000 ford expedition and 2003 dodge ram and Kelly tires on a 2011 Ford expedition.
I don’t buy Goodyear tires after using Michelin.